187 of 190 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic Produces Another Quality Ventilation Fan
The Panasonic FV-11VQ5 is the newest release from Panasonic in the WhisperCeiling series of ventilation fans. Panasonic discontinued the .8 Sone, 110 CFM, FV-11VQ3 for this next-generation, enhanced version. It is essentially the same model with some minor variations, the most noticeable being a reduction in operational sound level from .8 Sone to .3 Sone. The power...
Published on October 4, 2010 by Paul S. Remington
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Fan but Difficult to install from below....
The fan assembly is large and heavy. Was shocked at how much bigger it was (about 4X) compared to the tiny one i got from builder of the house. The fan looks heavy duty, made with lot of metal and heavy duty plastic. Looks like very good quality. The instructions to install was very basic. It showed 3 different ways to install using their bracket. It may be good to...
Published on October 9, 2011 by Jamie
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187 of 190 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic Produces Another Quality Ventilation Fan,
This review is from: Panasonic FV-11VQ5 WhisperCeiling 110 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fan, White (Tools & Home Improvement)The Panasonic FV-11VQ5 is the newest release from Panasonic in the WhisperCeiling series of ventilation fans. Panasonic discontinued the .8 Sone, 110 CFM, FV-11VQ3 for this next-generation, enhanced version. It is essentially the same model with some minor variations, the most noticeable being a reduction in operational sound level from .8 Sone to .3 Sone. The power consumption between the two units has also been reduced from 30.7W to 21.1W (at .1 static pressure), which drops the Amperage from .26 to .18, making this unit more efficient.
The FV-11VQ5 is relatively large, but a fantastic performer for the money. The rough-in cut required to mount the unit is 10-1/2" x 10-1/2". The outside grill is 13" x 13". A cardboard template is supplied to assist in drawing the physical layout of the rough-in cut on the ceiling. This greatly enhanced the ease of installation. Opening the unit, there's little that needs to be done other than remove the tape from the internal assembly. The mounting rails and screws are included.
Aside from sizing and attaching the ventilation ductwork, all that's required is to mount the unit and wire it up. Wiring is as simple as attaching a white, black, and green wire to an existing AC line and ground source.
My wife and I installed this unit together in the attic within an hour. We had complications with the ductwork that vents out the roof not lining up, which required some custom cuts to complete a final mounting. This took about 30 minutes, but aside from this, it is a very simple ventilation fan to install.
Following the installation, I turned the breaker back on and had my wife do the honors with the wall switch. She pushed it and after a second looked at me with that look that says, "Uh oh... Something's wrong!" After a few seconds we heard the sound of air rushing, but no motor! Our old fan was a 4.5 Sone unit, which is very loud! This unit almost sounds like it's not even running. It's so quiet, what you hear most is air rushing through the vents.
To check that things were venting well, I took half a dozen match sticks and lit them about four feet below the unit and waited for the flame to work down the wood, then blew them out. Smoke spindled its way up and out of the vents. Next, I took a lighter and lit it just below the vent and moved it around the grill. I could see the flame being pulled in the direction of the vent opening. It indeed was working quite well.
Overall, we're very happy with this unit and would recommend it to anyone installing it in a residential home or small area. Those interested should realize this is a very quiet unit. Some people like a fan to block sounds that emanate from the bathroom so others can't hear any quiet noises. For those who would like this from a ventilation fan, this is not the fan for you. I'd suggest looking for a fan with a rating of approximately 2 Sones. Anything less than 1 Sone is really very quiet.
Panasonic makes very good quality fans with many offerings in their "Whisper" ventilation line. The FV-11VQ5 is a quality unit within the WhisperCeiling series. Prospective consumers should also consider Panasonic's WhisperFit, WhisperGreen, WhisperLite, WhisperValue, and WhisperWarm line of ventilation fans before making a final determination which is right for you.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fan, NOT hard to install from below. Here's how.,
This review is from: Panasonic FV-11VQ5 WhisperCeiling 110 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fan, White (Tools & Home Improvement)This is a lovely fan, beautifully made. Contrary to many comments, it IS possible, and is NOT difficult, to install it from below the ceiling with NO drywall repair. My house has space above the ceiling, 24" joist spacing, and no attic or crawl access. So here's how I did it. Unfortunately the installation instructions omit some key info, which I provide, but if what follows seems needlessly detailed, please forgive. (Page refs are to the instructions - see
(1) The original Broan builder fan was attached to a ceiling joist on one side and projected through an 8" x 8" hole in the 1/2" ceiling drywall. I demo'd as follows: Turned off the fan switch (or breaker) (important!). Unplugged & removed the old motor assembly, then twisted & scrunched the sheet metal housing with a ViseGrip & small prybar until it came loose, finally pulled it out downward and disconnected the wires and air duct. (Was careful not to damage the ceiling drywall much.)
(2) I enlarged the ceiling hole to 10.5" x 10.5" with a drywall saw.
(3) Prepped the new fan: Discarded the supplied suspension brackets (useless for below-ceiling install) and screws (too short). Removed & discarded the bracket cover (p. 4, no. 8). Re-installed the bracket cover screws (could have taped the holes). Finally, removed one key screw marked "tighten securely for good ground" (or words to that effect), unplugged the fan motor, and pulled off the electrical + air duct panel. (Thanks to D. Mahalick, comment July 25, 2011, for this tip.)
(4) Adapting Installation III, p. 8, I cut a second "false" joist from a piece of 1.5" x 3.5" x 45" fir stud, pushed it up through the ceiling hole, and fitted it between two nearby cross members, parallel to and on the other side of the hole from the first joist. One end was close enough to screw in place with a scrap-wood gusset (an angle bracket or hurricane tie would do). The other end was out of reach, so I made an overlapping joint and bonded it (to the cross member, not the drywall) with a dollop of J-B Weld epoxy, applied with a stick. For good measure, I clamped joist to drywall while the bond cured. (If the cross members hadn't been handy, any of several other designs would have worked.)
(5) After a day's wait for the epoxy to cure, I lifted the fan body into the hole, drilled lead holes into the joists, attached it with four 1-5/8" drywall screws, and removed it. Next I made the electrical and air duct connections to their panel, lifted it into the hole, and attached it to the hole edge with two drywall screws. I lifted the fan body into the hole again and screwed it loosely into place. I removed the screws holding the electrical + duct panel through oversize holes in the fan body flange, clipped the panel in place on the fan body, and re-installed the key grounding screw I had removed in step (3). I plugged in the fan. Finally I tightened the fan body drywall screws and installed the grille. DONE!
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Quality,
This review is from: Panasonic FV-11VQ5 WhisperCeiling 110 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fan, White (Tools & Home Improvement)Once I opened the box, the superior quality of this vent over what I was used to from Broan/NuTone was readily apparent. The squirrel-cage fan is much more robust and has a much more solid feel when you spin it by hand. The smoothness of the motor is nothing like that of a Broan/NuTone vent.
In 11 years that we have lived in our current house, I have replaced the NuTone vent in out master bath twice. I expect this Panasonic unit to last 20 years.
I have been amazed at how the level of quality in Broan/NuTone units has dropped. My parents have two Broan ceiling mount fan forced heaters in their bathrooms. They were installed when the house was built 50 years ago. They still work perfectly and quietly. The new products from Broan/NuTone simply do not last.
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Fan but Difficult to install from below....,
Installing in attic may be easy but from below was a nightmare. The unit was big and heavy. The wires were short and i had to get some extra electrical wires to extend and connect. They should have had longer wiring or better yet a plug that snap in/out in for easy install. Since the unit was so heavy, it needed to be supported by both beams in the ceiling. Was trying to improvise by nailing in some extra wood to the support beams to be able screw it from the bottom but but it was very difficult. Took several hrs. to install but got it done. It would have been nice if they had a flat bracket to nail onto a single beam and then hang the unit on it. The brackets supplied went across and needed 2 beams to support. No way to reach in and do that from below.
Was happy to see that it worked and it was able to hold a tissue (my old fan could not) when placed on the grill and that it was very quiet. Happy with fan but not the installation.
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its big and quiet.,
So I had to screw the support bracket onto the wood, which was really hard. I recommend drilling a small hole in the wood first before screwing the screw into the wood. It made it easier to screw it in. Then I had to screw it from the bottom, which was messy since I had to drill through the sheet rock ceiling.
As for noise, its fairly quiet. You can still hear it, unless you have hearing problems. Its sounds similar to turning on a regular portable fan at a low setting. The fan is not a typical fan with blades on it. It some sort of turbine fan. Its a long cylinder that spins.
There's a limited warranty on the product. Its says there is a 3 year warranty from date of purchase on ALL PARTS. Then it also says 6 year warranty on DC MOTOR from date of purchase. I guess the DC Motor is the fan?
Items you will need to install this fan: Power drill and phillip screw driver, jigsaw or reciprocating saw (unless you want to cut the hole manually), 3 plastic wire connectors, goggles, a mask (or something to cover your nose and mouth).
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic FV-11vQ5 installation,
First off, replacing a ventilation fan isn't something you should attempt if you're not comfortable working with tools or electricity. The installation of this unit from below WITHOUT having to crawl into the attic space, WITHOUT removing the motor assembly, and WITHOUT doing drywall repair wasn't all that difficult, and for me it was a one man job. I think the manufacturers instructions are more meant for installing this fan in new construction. The instructions should be MUCH clearer on how to install this fan in an existing ceiling with no access (or limited access) from above. After seeing the instructions that come with this fan I can understand why people have problems with installation. For that reason, I'll try to save you some aggravation by explaining my own installation procedure step by step. This procedure should work with some other Panasonic models as well.
Before you do anything, make sure to turn off the power to the fan at the breaker box. Once you've done that, remove the grill from the old unit and poke around the sides of the enclosure with a screwdriver to find out which side butts up to the ceiling joist, and which side the vent hose is attached to so you'll know which way to orient the new unit and where to place the cutout template. Take the cardboard template that comes with the new Panasonic fan and tape it over the existing hole and fan, making sure to line up one side with the ceiling joist that abuts the old unit and one side with the vent hose end. Eye up the template from below to make sure the new hole will be square to the room walls. Adjust as necessary, then trace the SQUARE outline of the template on the ceiling with a pencil (don't trace around the tabs). Cut the new hole with a drywall saw, being careful not to cut into wires or plumbing (or better yet, use an oscillating tool with a plunge blade...Oh how I love that tool!). This will give you room to work and see what you're doing inside the ceiling.
Pry the old unit from the joist, then remove the vent hose, taking care not to damage it. Disconnect the wiring and remove the old fan. Make sure the wiring and vent hose are long enough to reach where you need them to be (I had to remove a cable staple and reroute the vent hose a little). You won't be able to use ANY of the mounting brackets that come with the new fan, and you can't just screw one side into unsupported drywall so here's a simple solution: Install a short piece of 2x4 that will act as a second joist to fasten the new unit to. A scrap piece of 2x4 approx. 12-16" long fastened to the attic side of the ceiling will give you more than enough support and stability for the second side of the fan enclosure. Stand the 2x4 on edge inside the hole and sitting on top of the drywall. Hold it parallel to the existing joist and flush with the edge of the drywall cutout. Secure the 2x4 to the ceiling by driving two or three 1-5/8 drywall screws up through the ceiling and into the 2x4, 3/4" from the edge of the drywall cutout, and approx. 3" from either end. The flange of the housing will cover these screws later on. TIP: don't place the screws where they will conflict with the mounting holes in the fan housing flange. All you're looking to do here is hold the 2x4 in place so you can drive the mounting screws into it later on.
Now you're ready to install the new fan. Disconnect the fan motor plug in wire on the inside of the new unit and remove the screw that is labeled "grounding". Slide the galvanized steel vent plate off the end of the black fan enclosure (mine needed some gentle coaxing, but don't pry it off...you'll bend it). Be sure to remove the packing tape holding the damper! Remove the screw holding the electrical box cover and remove the cover. Decide which one of the knockouts you're going to use, remove it with a screwdriver and install a romex connector. Get up on your ladder and run the wire into the box. Tighten the romex clamp securely, make the connections with wire nuts, then use electrical tape over the wire nuts (accessing those connections later on will require removing the entire fan unit, so you want those connections to be right the first time!). Reinstall the electrical box cover. Connect the vent hose using either aluminum duct tape or a screw clamp (I used both). Yes, aluminum tape is expensive, but I don't recommend regular duct tape because I've found that it drys out over time and eventually disintegrates. At this point you should have just the end plate hanging out of the ceiling with the wiring and vent hose attached. Push the end plate up into the hole with the bottom flange overlapping the finished part of the ceiling. Fasten the side of the plate to the joist with two short self tapping screws through the factory pre-drilled holes located in the vertical flared out edge of the plate. That will hold the end plate in place.
Go back to the fan motor housing. Remove and discard the short galvanized bracket on the outside of the housing so the box will fit into the ceiling opening. Reinstall those two screws to prevent air leaks in the housing. Having your mounting screws and a drill driver handy, carefully slide the housing upward into the ceiling while sliding it into the end plate. Make sure the two tabs on the end plate engage the slots in the lower part of the housing. The housing should now sit flush on the ceiling and on top of the end plate flange. The hole for the grounding screw you removed earlier should be visible. If it is, the housing is properly positioned. If the housing isn't sitting flush on the ceiling, try sliding it in again (mine took a couple of times to get it right). Holding the housing in place, hand start an 1-1/2" mounting screw into the ceiling, then drive it nearly home. Install another screw diagonally across from that one so the housing will stay put and you can work with two hands. Finish fastening the fan housing to the joists by driving in the remaining two screws. Reinstall the grounding screw and reattach the motor wire. Reset the breaker, test the unit and install the grill. Done!
Note: The instructions direct you to caulk/seal around the flange where it abuts the ceiling to prevent air leaks, but I found that the flange sat tight enough that it did not require caulking.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video review panasonic fan,
Okay, this isn't a payed review. I'm a real homeowner in Maine who remodeled a real bathroom in his house.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect...,
I do agree with the other reviewers that the fan is not as quiet as you might expect. After living with the fan for a week or so I agree with another reviewer that you are actually hearing the air movement through the vents, not the fan itself. The fan is all but silent for the 2-3 seconds it takes to spin up.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Unit Great Price,
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Installed from Below - Works Great,
My old bathroom fan (Nutone 763RL) was horrifically loud. Sometimes I would wonder whether the old bath fan was louder or the vacuum cleaner. You could hear the old bath fan from upstairs when turned on. It had no back draft damper so you would feel cold air dropping on your head sometimes. But I held out on installing a new fan downstairs for lack of access to the space above the lower bathroom. I looked at the Broan QTRE080R retrofit model (and I have the QTRE080 at my other home previously and is a great fan also), but it was not practical due to the usage of a 6" duct vs most standard 4" ducts.
In doing research about installing this fan from below, there have been some other folks here that were successful with this Panasonic model. So I decided to attempt this retrofit from below. Installation from below was a lot dirtier since the dust falls on you, so wear protection for your eyes, lungs, and skin. Some mental preparation before you begin would be helpful. First, your old fan will need to be destroyed in order to be taken out. Don't even think about reusing it. This will take a longer time since working from below is a bit tougher and all your work will be through the 10.5in^2 hole in the ceiling. For me, it took 6 hours and 1 trip to Lowes.
Here's what you need to do. 1.) Remove the old Fan, 2.) Enlarge and Prep Hole, and 3.) Installation of new fan.
Standard disclaimers: Ensure power is off before you start. I am not a professional and not responsible if you injury yourself or damage stuff. Seek professional advice if you are unsure.
Supplied that I needed:
-3/4" thick wood plank
-L-brackets with screws
-1" wood screws
- Make sure power is off.
- Take off the old fan cover. For me it was the light cover, then the light until, then the fan cover (as my until was a lighted model).
- Remove all internals such as motor, lighting, and accessories. Anything that can come out, take it out. Disconnect wiring if possible.
- With the internals removed, you should have an empty square box. Use a large screwdriver or pry bar and start bending in the sides of the square inwards.
- As you bend in the sides, the hangers should be visible on 2 of the sides, pry the hangers off the hanger mounts on the canister. The metal is thin and will bend with a screwdriver. Keep bending the box walls inward until you have enough room.
- Once dismounted from the metal hangers, the box can start to slide down. Slide it down enough to access the duct and wiring.
- Remove the exhaust duct, probably held on with foil tape and/or a large o-clamp. Disconnect and take out the wiring.
- Take out the old metal hangers. I was able to unscrew 3 of them using hernia-generating superhuman strength. 1 had to be ripped out leaving the stripped screw head in the support beam.
- Pile your old fan parts together. Mock the sorry-looking old exhaust fan and tiny fan blade and tiny fan motor. Throw it out in the trash with a sense of vindication and triumph.
- Enlarge the existing drywall hole, preferably with one side of the new hole alining with a wood beam. Use the supplied cardboard template. Outline the new larger hole with pencil, cut with a drywall saw. I ended cutting out an L-shaped piece of drywall. Watch your cuts to make sure you don't veer off course.
- So with one side against the wood support above, you'll need to fashion two additional wood cross members aligning with the other sides of the holes. This is because fiberboard is not meant to be load bearing and over time in the damp bathroom, the fan may rip out of the fiberboard if you tried to connect it only to gypsum. The fan will need to be screwed in from below through the drywall into wood supports.
- The space between the support beams above my bathroom was 14". I cut out a piece of wood that was 13" long. The shorter length allow me the maneuver the wood into position. I used an L bracket at each end and fastened the wooden brace (this false support beam) to the existing support beams. I bridged the 1" gap using the L-bracket. I used my power screwdriver and powered in the short 3/4" screws. You'll need 2 of the brackets in addition to the existing support beam. Now you have wood on three sides of your hole being supported by the support beams of your house. [READ THIS: The thickness of the wood cannot exceed 3/4" maximum on the side with the exhaust duct and wiring can or else it will interfere with fitment].
- Take this time to curse the old fan again, and prepare for the new fan installation.
Installation of new fan:
- Set aside the metal hangers, you won't need them as you will be hanging the fan directly from the wooden supports.
- Remove the hanger support on the back side of the fan canister, held in with 2 screws. Cover the hole with tape or put the screws back to prevent air infiltration later.
- Disconnect the fan from the connector inside the box.
- Remove the screw that says grounding screw near the inside lip of the canister on the side with the duct and wiring.
- Once grounding screw is removed, the entire silver side with the duct and wiring can slides off.
- Install the silver side piece first into the hole you made in the ceiling.
- Connect your wiring in the wiring box. Pry off the knock out and open the can to wire it up, then screw the wiring box back together.
- Connect your duct. Use foil tape or the o-clamp. I used both. Confirm duct and wiring are secure.
- Push your black fan box up into the hole, aligning with the clips on the silver duct piece. Keep pushing gently until the grounding screw hole lines up, then install the grounding screw.
- The fan should stay in place due to the duct and wiring harness. Now screw in wood screws to the holes on the sides with wood support.
- Put the fan cover on.
- Take one last moment to curse the old fan and then turn the power back on to appreciate the whisper quiet new Panasonic fan that you installed from below without needing any plastering.
- You are done.
Remember that you cannot use thick 2x4 wood and still expect it to clear the bottom of the fan duct and wiring box. What actual wood you use is up to you. I ended up using wood meant for a fence and cut it to the size I thought was good for my particular needs.
Good luck, I can't recommend this fan enough. It is incredibly quiet fan, nothing on the market beats it for the 4" exhaust duct. Reliable. Now the steam from your shower won't even have a chance to fog up the mirror before being sucked out. You'll hear the air whooshing but not any vibration or motor sounds.
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